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UB announces health guidelines for new academic year

Fall semester begins August 31
Posted at 1:06 PM, Jul 15, 2020

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — All University at Buffalo students, faculty and staff received a set of guidelines Wednesday to ensure their safety as the university prepares for fall classes August 31.

The university will offer both remote and in-person instruction, and classrooms will only have a 25% capacity.

UB leaders said guidelines are based on the most recent scientific research on effective methods for preventing the spread of COVID-19.

The latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the New York State Department of Health and SUNY, along with UB experts in infectious disease, laboratory medicine and public health.


  • All student, faculty and staff are required to quarantine at their own residence for seven days before they return to campus.
  • Anyone returning to campus from a state or country with a high numbers of COVID-19 cases must quarantine for 14 days.

Masks or face coverings:

  • Masks must be worn at all times inside all UB buildings, classrooms, labs and facilities, as well as in outdoor spaces on UB’s campuses.
  • If person is inside their own residence hall room alone or with a roommate, alone in a fully enclosed private office or inside their car, they do not need to wear a mask.
  • Masks must be worn in the dining hall or dining areas on campus, but students can remove their masks by necessity when actively eating or drinking.
  • Social distancing is highly recommended by the CDC. The university will modify or reconfigure public spaces and/or restrict the use of classrooms and other places where people tend to congregate, so that people can stay at least 6 feet apart in all directions.


  • The university will provide one reusable face covering to each student, faculty and staff member at no cost. Additional face coverings can be purchased on campus.

Screening and testing:

  • The university will have mandatory health screenings for students, faculty and staff and scheduled visitors. They will be asked about:
    1. COVID-19 symptoms in past 10 days
    2. Positive COVID-19 test in past 10 days, and/or
    3. Close or proximate contact with a confirmed or suspected COVID-19 case in past 14 days when both parties were not wearing masks.
  • The university will require viral testing for individuals who report symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or develop symptoms during quarantine.
  • If infection becomes more widespread in the local community and/or on campus, widespread testing for COVID-19 infection may be appropriate in order to identify cases for isolation and to guide aggressive contact tracing.
  • The university will immediately notify the state and local health departments of known confirmed positive cases.
  • If an individual tests positive, the university will support the Erie County Health Department’s contact tracing procedures in accordance with the New York State Contact Tracing Program.
  • The university will require a 14-day quarantine for individuals waiting the result of viral testing, or who report close contact with people who have tested positive, or who report close contact with people whose symptoms are highly suggestive of COVID-19.